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Tag Archives: Working class

Social Class

SECOND EDITION OF ‘THE WORKING CLASS MAJORITY’ NOW AVAILABLE

Dear Friends and Colleagues: 

I am happy to announce that the second edition of my book The Working Class Majority: America’s Best Kept Secret is now in print and available for immediate shipping from Cornell University Press.  Just out, it is not yet available for shipping through Amazon, which is now taking orders for later delivery. 

Order your copy of the 2nd edition of The Working Class Majority for immediate delivery now from Cornell University Press, in time for a holiday gift to yourself or someone you know who should know about how class works. 

Go to  http://www.cornellpress. cornell.edu/book/?GCOI=80140100797250  to order, and use the code <CAU6> on the order page  to receive a 20% discount on the price, a special offer from Cornell for anyone ordering early in response to this announcement.  Regular price = $19.95.  Discount price = $15.96. 

What’s new in the 2nd edition:   

* Updates all data and examples to latest available in August 2011; 
documents changes in the occupational composition of the working class and the professional middle class; 
* Includes new information and analysis of immigration; 
* Provides a history of the corporate assault on the working class from the 1970 Lewis Powell memo to Scott Walker in Wisconsin this year; 
* Updates developments in the labor and working class community movements. 

For classroom use in the spring 2012 semester, ask your bookstore to contact Cornell University Press directly until the book is available through normal distribution channels in mid-January. 

ALSO AVAILABLE FOR THE HOLIDAYS from the Center for Study of Working Class Life, for immediate delivery for you or someone you know who needs to know: 

“Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race,” by Theodore W. Allen, with introduction by Jeffrey B. Perry (44pp.): http://www.stonybrook.edu/workingclass/publications/struggle.shtml 

“The Fierce Urgency of Now,” essays by and about Jack O’Dell, including O’Dell’s first formulation of the Democracy Charter  (28 pp.): http://www.stonybrook.edu/workingclass/publications/urgency.shtml 

The 27 minute DVD “Why Are We in Afghanistan?” http://www.WhyAreWeInAfghanistan.org 

The 27 minute DVD “Meeting Face to Face: The Iraq-U.S. Labor Solidarity Tour” (2005) (English, with subtitles in Arabic, French, and Spanish: http://www.meetingfacetoface.org 

ORDER PAGE: 
http://www.stonybrook.edu/workingclass/publications/order.shtml 

With best wishes for the New Year, 

Michael Zweig 
Director, Center for Study of Working Class Life 
Department of Economics 
State University of New york 
Stony Brook, NY 11794-4384 
631.632.7536 
michael.zweig@stonybrook.edu 
www.workingclass.sunysb.edu 

 

**END**

 

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

 

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales)  

 

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a new song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Bette Davis

FILM NOIR, AMAERICAN WORKERS, AND POSTWAR HOLLYWOOD

AT HARVARD
Discussion/Signing with Dr. Dennis Broe

Monday, Nov 7 @ 7:00 pm
The Harvard Coop
1400 Massachusetts Ave

Selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title

“Broe has broken new ground in the interpretation of cinema itself. With this book film noir has found its most astute and informed critic.” – Gerald Horne, author of Class Struggle in Hollywood 1930-50 and The Final Victim of the Blacklist: John Howard Lawson, Dean of the Hollywood Ten

This award-winning book argues for the central importance of class in the creation of film noir and demonstrates how the form itself came to fruition during one of the most active periods of working-class agitation and middle-class antagonism towards corporate power in American history. Broe expands his analysis of how the classical period of film noir is connected to labor history to include an investigation first of the social and cinematic roots of the Cold War and then, in a coda, of the relationship of noir to the ethos and culture of terrorism in post 9/11 America. This study of a time when labor displayed its power and found its cinematic equivalent on the Hollywood screen is more relevant than ever as organized labor joins the Occupy Movement in fighting for the rights of the 99%.

“Broe’s theory forces the reader to review film noir in a new and provocative light” –Book News

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Capitalism is Crisis

MIDWEST MARXISM CONFERENCE

The Working Class, Black Liberation & Revolution

See: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=252441574798260&ref=ts

And: http://www.chicagosocialists.org

Saturday, October 29th

Chicago, DePaul University

Sponsors: www.internationalsocialist.org & Socialistworker.org

$5-$20 sliding scale (no one will be turned away for lack of funds)

Childcare available – contact us by Oct. 22th

2011 is a year of revolution and revolt — from Egypt, to Madison; from London Riots, to the fight to save Troy Davis; from teachers, longshoremen taking a stand to the growing US-wide ‘Occupy’ movement — and with every growth in struggle socialist politics become more and more relevant. The Midwest Marxism Conference will present activists from across the region with an opportunity to learn what Marxists say about race, class, and revolution, and to exchange experiences with others similarly engaged in the struggle for a better world.

Folks traveling to Chicago from out of town can touch base with our host committee to request housing for Friday and Saturday night by calling 773 236-1848, or by emailing chicagosocialists@gmail.com

More information, a downloadable poster & readings are available here: http://www.chicagosocialists.org/content/midwest-marxism-conference  

 

Schedule:

11:30AM-Noon Registration

Noon-12:30PM

            • Why Marx was Right

12:45PM-2:15PM

            • No Power Greater: Marxism and the centrality of class

            • Where does racism come from?

2:15PM-3:15PM Lunch

3:15PM-4:45PM

            • The 1934 Minneapolis Teamsters strike: a case study in working-class power

            • The Black Freedom Struggle: from Martin to the Black Panthers

5PM-6:30PM

            • The changing working class and the future of the labor movement

            • Black Liberation and Socialism

6:30-7PM

            • Building a Revolutionary Socialist Alternative Today

7PM Dinner & Party

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Class Struggle

HOW CLASS WORKS – 2012: UPDATE 22nd SEPTEMBER 2011

CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS
A Conference at SUNY Stony Brook June 7-9, 2012

The Center for Study of Working Class Life is pleased to announce the How Class Works – 2012 Conference, to be held at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, June 7-9, 2012.   Proposals for papers, presentations, and sessions are welcome until December 12, 2011 according to the guidelines below.  For more information, visit our Web site at: http://www.workingclass.sunysb.edu.

Purpose and orientation: The conference seeks to explore ways in which an explicit recognition of class helps to understand the social world in which we live, and ways in which analysis of society can deepen our understanding of class as a social relationship. Presentations should take as their point of reference the lived experience of class; proposed theoretical contributions should be rooted in and illuminate social realities. Presentations are welcome from people outside academic life when they sum up social experience in a way that contributes to the themes of the conference.  Formal papers will be welcome but are not required. All presentations should be accessible to an interdisciplinary audience.

Conference themes: The conference welcomes proposals for presentations that advance our understanding of any of the following themes:

The mosaic of class, race, and gender. To explore how class shapes racial, gender, and ethnic experience and how different racial, gender, and ethnic experiences within various classes shape the meaning of class.
Class, power, and social structure. To explore the social content of working, middle, and capitalist classes in terms of various aspects of power; to explore ways in which class and structures of power 
interact, at the workplace and in the broader society.
Class and community. To explore ways in which class operates outside the workplace in the communities where people of various classes live.
Class in a global economy. To explore how class identity and class dynamics are influenced by globalization, including experience of cross-border organizing, capitalist class dynamics, international 
labor standards.
Middle class? Working class? What’s the difference and why does it matter? To explore the claim that the U.S. is a middle class society and contrast it with the notion that the working class is the majority; to explore the relationships between the middle class and the working class, and between the middle class and the capitalist class.

 

Class, public policy, and electoral politics. To explore how class affects public policy, with special 
attention to health care, the criminal justice system, labor law, poverty, tax and other economic policy, housing, and education; to explore the place of electoral politics in the arrangement of class 
forces on policy matters.
Class and culture: To explore ways in which culture transmits and transforms class dynamics.
Pedagogy of class. To explore techniques and materials useful for teaching about class, at K-12 levels, in college and university courses, and in labor studies and adult education courses.

How to submit proposals for How Class Works – 2012 Conference

Proposals for presentations must include the following information: a) title; b) which of the eight conference themes will be addressed; c) a maximum 250 word summary of the main points, methodology, and slice of experience that will be summed up; d) relevant personal information 
indicating institutional affiliation (if any) and what training or experience the presenter brings to the proposal; e) presenter’s name, address, telephone, fax, and e-mail address. A person may present in at most two conference sessions. To allow time for discussion, sessions will be limited to three twenty-minute or four fifteen-minute principal presentations. Sessions will not include official discussants. 

 

Proposals for poster sessions are welcome. Presentations may be assigned to a poster session.

 

Proposals for sessions are welcome. A single session proposal must include proposal information for all presentations expected to be part of it, as detailed above, with some indication of willingness to participate from each proposed session member.

 

Submit proposals as an e-mail attachment to: michael.zweig@stonybrook.edu or as hard copy by mail to the How Class Works – 2012 Conference, Center for Study of Working Class Life, Department of Economics, SUNY, Stony Brook, NY 11794-4384.

Timetable:  Proposals must be received by December 12, 2012. After review by the program committee, notifications will be mailed on January 17, 2012. The conference will be at SUNY Stony Brook June 7-9, 2012.  Conference registration and housing reservations will be possible after February 20, 2012. Details and updates will be posted at http://www.workingclass.sunysb.edu.

Conference coordinator:
Michael Zweig
Director, Center for Study of Working Class Life
Department of Economics
State University of New York Stony Brook, NY 11794-4384
631.632.7536
michael.zweig@stonybrook.edu 
 

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

 

Work, work, work

CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF EDUCATION AND WORK – UPDATE 25th JUNE 2011

EVENTS

LEON ROSSELSON – UK TROUBADOUR

Saturday, August 6
7:30pm – 10:30pm
Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham St. (Bathurst subway)
Toronto

Doors open at 7:15
Admission is $15 waged; $10 unwaged. Proceeds to UK Medical Aid for Palestinians
Accessible on demand via portable ramp; washrooms not accessible

The great English radical singer-songwriter, Leon Rosselson, will be touring North America this summer. Beit Zatoun is pleased to host him in Toronto – he will feature many songs from his newest album – The Last Chance: Eight Songs on Israel-Palestine.

Leon Rosselson has been one of the outstanding songwriters in the UK for more than fifty years. A number of his songs are standards, including The World Turned Upside Down, his tribute to the Diggers, a 17th-century English Utopian communist group. It was famously covered by Billy Bragg in the eighties.

Last year Leon Rosselson released The Last Chance: Eight Songs on Israel-Palestine, an album that reflects his experiences and concerns as a secular left-wing Jew faced with the reality of the Israeli settler state.

Sponsored by Cultcom, the culture committee of the Greater Toronto Workers Assembly. Please contact Wally Brooker at saxawoogie@yahoo.com for more information.

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THROUGH THE LENS: A LOOK AT SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUES OF OUR DAY

Facilitated by Jeana McCabe

Saturday July 2
10 AM – 6 PM
OISE, 252 Bloor Street West, 3rd Floor Computer Lab
Toronto

Registration: $84.75 (includes HST)

– Perhaps you look at social justice and KNOW that there have to be MORE INTERESTING and POWERFUL ways to engage.
– Perhaps you want ideas on how to get your students, your family or your community INVOLVED and ACTIVE.
– Perhaps you’ve always wanted to MAKE YOUR OWN documentary.

If any of this applies, then this workshop is for you!

‘Through The Lens’ – A Look at Social Justice Teaching is a workshop designed to train teachers how to engage their students in family, community & global issues through the lens of the camera. Using documentary as their medium, students delve deeper and more personally into human stories connected to their environment, their struggles and their dreams. More importantly they not only learn for themselves the challenges surrounding our world but attempt to share and expose injustices with other youth through their screenings throughout Ontario.  Whether it be on the environment, youth violence, the marginalized or cyber bullying, students find new ways to get to the heart of the issue through a combination of interviews, research and observation. They get involved. They produce. They challenge each other for change.

To register or with questions, please email tlcentre.oise@utoronto.ca

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2011 CONFLICT RESOLUTION WORKSHOPS

From St. Stephen’s Conflict Resolution Service

When conflict is not managed effectively, it can lead to increased stress, strained relationships, low morale and decreased productivity. Our workshops are ideal for executive directors, managers, frontline staff, mediators and individuals who want to learn how to mediate and handle interpersonal conflicts in workplace and personal settings. Participants in our workshops will gain skills to resolve immediate problems and build stronger relationships for future cooperation and understanding. All workshops are participatory in nature and combine discussions, exercises and role-plays.

For more information, visit http://www.ststephenshouse.com/crs.shtml or contact us at (416) 925-2103 x 249.

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WORK IT! HEALTH AND RACISM WORKING GROUP’S ANNUAL SYMPOSIUM

Wed, July 6, 2011
2:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Student Centre, University of Toronto Mississauga Campus
3359 Mississauga Road North

The Health and Racism Working Group (HaR) invites you to join us for our annual symposium. Join us for Work It! an event focused on work, un(der)employment, employment equity, workers’ rights and much more!

Have you been thinking about work? Are you interested in learning about employment equity? Do you like using art as a way of responding to critical issues? Please join us in this dialogue.

Community members and the workers who support them are invited to attend.

You can expect:

**inspiring speakers
**creative workshops
**delicious food
**great local entertainment
**giveaways
**employment-related community booths

As you may know, HaR uses expressive arts as a self-care, healing and anti-racist tool. On July 6th, we invite you to participate in contributing to our premier ZINE (a self-published magazine, grassroots style), with the theme of “work.”

Please register and join us!
$10 for organizations (pay at the door); FREE for community members.

Presented by the Health and Racism Working Group (HaR), an anti-racist advocacy group of frontline workers and community members, interested in making connections between race and health. HaR is hosted at the East Mississauga Community Health Centre (EMCHC).
Supported by the University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union (thanks for the space!)

To register:  http://workitsymposium.eventbrite.com/
For more information: healthandracism@gmail.com or 905 602 4082 x 2

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WEBINAR – FOOD SECURITY AND SOVEREIGNTY: BUILDING LOCAL FOOD SYSTEMS IN CANADA AND JAPAN

Tuesday, June 28, 2011
12:00pm EST, 9:00 am PST
1 hour
Participation is free

Join us to learn about how community initiatives are rebuilding local food economies in Canada and Japan.

Registration: Register by e-mailing mthompson@ccednet-rcdec.ca with your name, location, and work or volunteer position. For more information about the Canadian CED Network, please visit: http://www.ccednet-rcdec.ca/

Background: Local food initiatives can reduce the carbon footprint of our meals, create employment and strengthen local economies, provide tasty, nutritious produce, and help build community. It is a movement that is ‘growing’ across Canada. This session will sketch a portrait of the community food sector in Canada, examine one successful example from Peterborough, Ontario, and look at Japan’s Seikatsu Club Cooperative Union. With 32 local cooperatives and 350,000 members, the Seikatso Club is a remarkable model of pre-order purchasing directly from producers.

A question and answer period will follow.

SPEAKERS:

* Cathleen Kneen, Chair of Food Secure Canada
* Paula Anderson, Production Coordinator at By the Bushel Community Food Cooperative
* Yvon Poirier, Chair of CCEDNet’s International Committee, who has visited and studied the Seikatso Club

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NEWS & VIEWS

“SINCERELY, THE WORKING CLASS”: POSTAL WORKERS SUPPORTED ACROSS CANADA

By The Media Co-op, The Dominion

“We want this for all Canadians; that’s what this should be about for people.”

Nadine Kays, who worked for four years as a casual letter carrier part-time on the midnight shift before she moved up in the ranks at Canada Post, was talking about the strike action taken by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) early this month.

Read more: http://www.dominionpaper.ca/articles/4035

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CAMPAIGN: JUSTICE FOR ABORIGINAL PEOPLES – IT’S TIME!

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) National Aboriginal Circle has launched the “Justice for Aboriginal Peoples – it’s Time!” campaign. Please take a few minutes to watch the video that provides a brief, poignant look at the history of colonization and its impacts. We would be very happy if you would share these links with your contacts to help raise public awareness of the issues facing Canada’s first peoples on this – National Aboriginal Day.

English: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5DrXZUIinU&feature=youtu.be
 
French: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMuJQjlU5KY&feature=related

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MESSAGE IN HARPER’S BACK TO WORK LAW AGAINST CUPW IS THAT LABOUR WILL BE PUT IN ITS PLACE

By Fred Wilson, rabble.ca

The Harper government’s legislation to end the lock out at Canada Post sends a strong message to Canadian labour. They intend to lower the wages and benefits of public sector workers and they could give a damn about collective bargaining rights.

Read more: http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/fwilson/2011/06/message-harper%E2%80%99s-back-work-law-against-cupw-labour-will-be-put-its-pl

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CARING FOR THE CARERS

By Sherri Torjman, Caledon Institute

Sherri Torjman of the Caledon Institute writes about how a focus on patient-centred care, an aging society and health care reform have pushed caregiving onto the policy radar screen. Caregivers comprise a formidable work force that provides an essential service. They care for their family members: elderly and dying parents, people with disabilities, and family members with chronic health conditions. They deserve the same financial compensation, decent working conditions, and training and supports as workers in any other sector of the economy. Sheri outlines what needs to happen to make sure that we care for our caregivers.

Read the paper: http://www.caledoninst.org/Publications/PDF/947ENG.pdf

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THE ASSAULT ON PUBLIC SERVICES: WILL UNIONS LAMENT THE ATTACKS OR LEAD A FIGHTBACK?

By Michael Hurley and Sam Gindin, The Bullet

We are living one of those historic moments that cry out for rallying the working-class to build new capacities, new solidarities, and concrete hope. The crucial question is not how far the attacks on the public sector will go. The real question is how far we will let them go? How will working-class activists inside and outside the unions respond? Do we have a counter-plan? Are we preparing one? Can we act as decisively as those attacking us?

Read more: http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/516.php

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WORK IN AN AGE OF AUSTERITY

By Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

As Canada continues on the path of economic recovery following the worldwide recession of 2008, workers find themselves under attack — and the attack is coming from many directions. We’ve put together some resources to help Canadians understand what’s behind the attack, who’s at risk, and how the austerity agenda is really about pitting workers against workers.

Read more: http://www.policyalternatives.ca/newsroom/updates/work-age-austerity

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KAIROS UPDATE: SIX MONTHS AFTER THE CUT BY CIDA

Just over six months ago, the Canadian International Development Agency informed KAIROS that we would no longer receive CIDA funding. On the afternoon of November 30, 2009 a senior CIDA official advised KAIROS that its proposed 2009-1013 funding agreement had not been approved. No detailed explanation was provided, only a reference made to new CIDA priorities. Neither was there an offer for wind down or transition funds. KAIROS was shocked. Thus ended a 35-year contribution agreement between KAIROS and its predecessor church coalitions, which provided support to KAIROS partners in the Global South who face human rights abuses in their struggles for peaceful solutions in situations of conflict.

Read more: http://kairoscanada.org/index.php?id=71&no_cache=1&tx_ttnews[ttnews]=1034

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(END)

ABOUT CSEW (CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF EDUCATION & WORK, OISE/UT):

Head: Peter Sawchuk
Co-ordinator: D’Arcy Martin

The Centre for the Study of Education and Work (CSEW) brings together educators from university, union, and community settings to understand and enrich the often-undervalued informal and formal learning of working people. We develop research and teaching programs at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (UofT) that strengthen feminist, anti-racist, labour movement, and working-class perspectives on learning and work.

Our major project is APCOL: Anti-Poverty Community Organizing and Learning. This five-year project (2009-2013), funded by SSHRC-CURA, brings academics and activists together in a collaborative effort to evaluate how organizations approach issues and campaigns and use popular education. For more information about this project, visit http://www.apcol.ca

For more information about CSEW, visit: http://www.csew.ca

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon

CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF EDUCATION AND WORK – UPDATE 16th APRIL 2011

EVENTS

WORKING CLASS STUDIES ASSOCIATION 2011 CONFERENCE: WORKING-CLASS ORGANIZATION AND POWER

June 22-25
University of Illinois Conference Center
750 S. Halsted Street
Chicago, Illinois, USA

Opening Wednesday afternoon with registration, followed by a reception and keynote event, the 2011 WCSA conference will feature more than 70 panels and workshops, more than 200 presenters, as well as after-lunch plenaries, a banquet, and special events. Though planning continues for plenaries and other activities, dates of panels and workshops will not be changed without appropriate permissions.

More info: http://www.ler.illinois.edu/labor/wcsaconference.html

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ANNUAL FUNDRAISING DINNER FOR CANADIAN DIMENSION MAGAZINE

Saturday, April 30
Plant Recreation Centre
930 Somerset St. West, Ottawa

Drinks 6:00 pm; Dinner 7:30 pm

“Influencing Local Decisions” – with guest speakers Suzanne Doerge (City for All Women Initiative) and Steven Shrybman (Friends of Lansdowne Park)

Tickets are $50/person and include a new one-year subscription to Canadian Dimension magazine. For tickets, call Jane/Geoff at 613-234-6933 or Peter at 613-728-7980.

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CU EXPO 2011: COMMUNITY-UNIVERSITY PARTNERSHIPS

May 10-14, 2011
Waterloo, Ontario

In Waterloo Region about 600 community and university activists locally, nationally and internationally will be showcasing, networking and debating on community based research, on Community / University Partnerships and eight UN Millennium Developmental goals.

CU Expo 2011 will showcase the exemplars in community-university partnerships worldwide, and explore and introduce creative ways of strengthening our local communities.

The CU Expo movement began in Canada as a response to individuals involved community-university partnerships needing a forum to share experiences, strategies and ideas. CU Expo 2011 will address the conference objectives, themes and streams through a variety of session offerings and opportunities for dialogue.

Please visit our website http://www.cuexpo2011.ca to learn about the conference, and follow us on twitter @cuexpo2011.

This conference will provide inspiration, cutting edge knowledge, actions and many opportunities to connect with people alike.

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SOUNDS OF SOLIDARITY: A NIGHT OF LATIN MUSIC AND DANCE

Thursday April 21, 2011
JJR Macleod Auditorium, University of Toronto
1 Kings College Circle
6:30 PM

Come out and support UFCW Canada and the Organization of Latin American Students as they fundraise. All funds raised will be used to purchase health & safety equipment, bicycles and other necessities for migrant workers.

The show will consist of food, music, poetry, and dance performances, raffles and a silent auction. Doors will open at 6:30 with the show starting at 7:00 pm. The night promises to be an eventful evening with plenty of raffles and prizes being given away all night long.

Raffle prizes include:
– Tickets to Toronto FC game(s)
– Tickets to Toronto Blue Jays game(s)
– Tickets to see Grammy Award Winner Luis Enrique
– Gift-cards from HBC, Subway and other great prizes
– Jewellery and food vouchers

Tickets are only $14 for students and $18 for non-students.

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55TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE COMPARATIVE AND INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION SOCIETY (CIES)

May 1-5, 2011
Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel
900 Rene Levesque Blvd. West
Montreal, Quebec

Noteworthy highlights in this year’s program, two lecture series—”Canadian Education in Perspective” and “A Tribute to Jackie Kirk”—will take place on Monday, May 2 and Wednesday, May 4, respectively. Other special events during the week-long conference include a plenary session on the conference theme; three invited panels focusing on current developments in education and around the world; an opportunity to visit two remarkable schools in the Montréal area; and the premiere of Carlos Alberto Torres’ theatrical piece, “Schooling of the oppressor or of the oppressed?,” influenced by the work of Paulo Freire.

More info: http://cies2011.mcgill.ca/CIES_2011_Montreal/CIES_2011_Montreal.html
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NEWS & VIEWS

PROGRESSIVE MEDIA SUFFER LOSSES IN THE FIGHT AGAINST THE RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE

Major progressive media stars have recently lost their platforms, while the Huffington Post eschews progressivism — both worrying developments in the media war with the right.

Read more: http://www.alternet.org/story/150548/progressive_media_suffers_losses_in_the_fight_against_the_right-wing_media_machine?page=1

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REBUILDING THE LEFT IN A TIME OF CRISIS

Leo Panitch is a political economist and theorist based at York University, Toronto, and is co-editor of Socialist Register. His most recent book is In and Out of Crisis: The Global Financial Meltdown and Left Alternatives (with Greg Albo and Sam Gindin). Leo spoke to New Left Project’s Edward Lewis about the long crisis of the left and his ideas for a reinvigorated anti-capitalist strategy. The discussion focuses on the labour movement, class and identity politics, proposal for a new kind of political party as well as some of the immediate questions faced by the left at the present juncture.

Read more: http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/492.php

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WHY THE UNITED STATES IS DESTROYING ITS EDUCATION SYSTEM

We spurn real teachers—those with the capacity to inspire—and replace them with instructors who teach to narrow, standardized tests. These instructors obey. They teach children to obey. And that is the point.

Read more: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/why_the_united_states_is_destroying_her_education_system_20110410/

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CHANGING THE LONG-FORM CENSUS-ITS IMPACT ON WOMEN’S EQUALITY IN CANADA

Report of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women

“The Committee heard about three possible impacts: the undercounting of vulnerable women and girls, the lack of data to conduct adequate gender-based analysis (GBA) of programs and policies, and the lack of data to evaluate programs and policies and to make strategic investments with respect to advancing the status of women.”

View the report here: http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2011/parl/XC71-403-1-1-05-eng.pdf

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‘BEYOND CAPITALISM’?: QUÉBEC SOLIDAIRE LAUNCHES DEBATE ON ITS PROGRAM FOR SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION

By Richard Fidler, The Bullet

At a convention held in Montreal on March 25-27, Québec solidaire (QS) concluded the second round in the process of adopting its program. More than 350 delegates from party associations across the province debated and adopted the party’s stance on issues in relation to the economy, ecology and labour. And they reaffirmed their determination to build the party as an independent political alternative, rejecting proposals by QS leaders to seek “tactical agreements” with the capitalist Parti québécois and/or the Parti vert (Greens) that would have allowed reciprocal support of the other party’s candidate in selected ridings.

Read more: http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/491.php

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ABOUT CSEW (CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF EDUCATION & WORK, OISE/UT):

Head: Peter Sawchuk
Co-ordinator: D’Arcy Martin

The Centre for the Study of Education and Work (CSEW) brings together educators from university, union, and community settings to understand and enrich the often-undervalued informal and formal learning of working people. We develop research and teaching programs at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (UofT) that strengthen feminist, anti-racist, labour movement, and working-class perspectives on learning and work.

Our major project is APCOL: Anti-Poverty Community Organizing and Learning. This five-year project (2009-2013), funded by SSHRC-CURA, brings academics and activists together in a collaborative effort to evaluate how organizations approach issues and campaigns and use popular education.

For more information about CSEW, visit: http://www.csew.ca

—END—

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

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SOUTH AFRICA TODAY: HOW DO WE CHARACTERISE THE SOCIAL FORMATION?

The 2011 ILRIG April Conference
Community House, Salt River, Cape Town
29 and 30 April 2011

Since 2007 ILRIG has been hosting an annual conference in April, either on behalf of, or in partnership with, the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. It is our intention to continue this tradition of conferences in April as an interface between critical analysts showcasing their work and activists in the labour and social movements debating the nature of the current juncture and strategic challenges facing our movements. In 2010 we looked at the causes and consequences of the global capitalist crisis and the possibilities for developing anti-capitalist alternatives.

In 2011 we have decided to call for papers and to invite participants on the question: how do we characterise the Social African social formation today?

2011 is the 17th year of the achievement of democracy in SA. But in that time, instead of the mass struggles of the 1970s; 1980s and early 1990s leading to radical transformation we have seen a decline in the extent and depth of those struggles and the triumph of a neo-liberal order. South Africa has joined the BRICS as an aspiring power, South African corporations have become global players, the composition of the ruling class is still overwhelmingly white and we are now the most unequal society in the world. At the same time we have an ex-liberation movement in government, carried there by the struggles of a black working class majority and with a ruling Alliance which includes the biggest trade union federation and a long standing Communist Party. More recently we have seen the rise of movements and community-based activists who have waged struggles quite relentlessly for some 5-10 years – serving as a source of optimism and renewal on the left and yet not galvanising into a social force capable of speaking in its own name, let alone challenging the neo-liberal order. We have also seen a readiness of some organised workers to strike and test the limits of the partnership that comprises the ruling tripartite Alliance.

Part of the many challenges facing activists today is characterising what the nature of the new order is in South Africa today – unlike in the apartheid period where the nature of that order was starkly apparent. This means that activists battle with the tension between the legitimacy of their cause and the legitimacy of the liberation credentials of the current government and its associated democratic institutions in the state.

On the left, in the broadest sense, this tension has been variously characterised as “a society carrying out transformation against residual apartheid forces”; a victim of global forces imposing neo-liberalism “from the North”; a developmental state; a natural consequence of a nationalist or a social democratic project triumphing over a more radical alternative; and even the triumph of neo-apartheid.

How do we characterise this social formation? What configuration of social forces led to this conjuncture and what are the strategic, programmatic and organisational consequences of taking one characterisation over another? How does one’s choice/s inform how one sees international solidarity in Africa and the wider world today?

The conference will consist of two components:
1. Inputs by speakers on the basis of draft papers submitted by interested activists and analysts – South African and international, and
2. Workshopped and parallel sessions in which ILRIG facilitators engage the issues raised
at facilitated sessions using educational methodologies

Themes:
1. The recent evolution of the capitalist class in SA, its relations to other capitals globally, its “racial” and gendered make-up; its mode of accumulation and its relation to the state
2. The recent evolution of the ANC, the changing social composition of its cadre, its relations to the state and to the capitalist class, and to the dominated classes.
3. The working class of SA today and its changing “racial” and gendered nature as well its re-composition across both the sphere of production and reproduction; its consciousness and struggles and how do these impact, or otherwise, on various organisations today.

To this end ILRIG is inviting papers from any interested person.

! Final papers must be submitted by 21 April 2011 Where possible, ILRIG will provide travel and accommodation for successful candidates. All communication must be directed to Russell Dudley ilrigaprilconference@gmail.com or 084-915 9709

Publication
After the Conference the papers will be published in an annual journal to be edited, published and distributed by the conference hosts.

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Social Class

HOW CLASS WORKS 2012

CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS
A Conference at SUNY Stony Brook June 7-9, 2012

The Center for Study of Working Class Life is pleased to announce the How Class Works – 2012Conference, to be held at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, June 7-9, 2012. Proposals for papers, presentations, and sessions are welcome until December 12, 2011 according to the guidelines below.

For more information, visit our Web site at: http://www.workingclass.sunysb.edu  

Purpose and orientation: The conference seeks to explore ways in which an explicit recognition of class helps to understand the social world in which we live, and ways in which analysis of society can deepen our understanding of class as a social relationship. Presentations should take as their point of reference the lived experience of class; proposed theoretical contributions should be rooted in and illuminate social realities. Presentations are welcome from people outside academic life when they sum up social experience in a way that contributes to the themes of the conference. Formal papers will be welcome but are not required. All presentations should be accessible to an interdisciplinary audience.

Conference themes: The conference welcomes proposals for presentations that advance our understanding of any of the following themes:

* The mosaic of class, race, and gender. To explore how class shapes racial, gender, and ethnic experience and how different racial, gender, and ethnic experiences within various classes shape the meaning of class.
* Class, power, and social structure. To explore the social content of working, middle, and capitalist classes in terms of various aspects of power; to explore ways in which class and structures of power interact, at the workplace and in the broader society.
* Class and community. To explore ways in which class operates outside the workplace in the communities where people of various classes live.
* Class in a global economy. To explore how class identity and class dynamics are influenced by globalization, including experience of cross-border organizing, capitalist class dynamics, international labor standards.
* Middle class? Working class? What’s the difference and why does it matter? To explore the claim that the U.S. is a middle class society and contrast it with the notion that the working class is the majority; to explore the relationships between the middle class and the working class, and between the middle class and the capitalist class.
* Class, public policy, and electoral politics. To explore how class affects public policy, with special attention to health care, the criminal justice system, labor law, poverty, tax and other economic policy, housing, and education; to explore the place of electoral politics in the arrangement of class forces on policy matters.
* Class and culture: To explore ways in which culture transmits and transforms class dynamics.
* Pedagogy of class. To explore techniques and materials useful for teaching about class, at K-12 levels, in college and university courses, and in labor studies and adult education courses.

How to submit proposals for How Class Works – 2012 Conference

Proposals for presentations must include the following information: a) title; b) which of the eight conference themes will be addressed; c) a maximum 250 word summary of the main points, methodology, and slice of experience that will be summed up; d) relevant personal information indicating institutional affiliation (if any) and what training or experience the presenter brings to the proposal; e) presenter’s name, address, telephone, fax, and e-mail address. A person may present in at most two conference sessions. To allow time for discussion, sessions will be limited to three twenty-minute or four fifteen-minute principal presentations. Sessions will not include official discussants. Proposals for poster sessions are welcome. Presentations may be assigned to a poster session. Proposals for sessions are welcome. A single session proposal must include proposal information for all presentations expected to be part of it, as detailed above, with some indication of willingness to participate from each proposed session member. Submit proposals as an e-mail attachment to michael.zweig@stonybrook.edu or as hard copy by mail to the How Class Works – 2012 Conference, Center for Study of Working Class Life, Department of Economics, SUNY, Stony Brook, NY 11794-4384.

Timetable: Proposals must be received by December 12, 2011. After review by the program committee, notifications will be mailed on January 17, 2012. The conference will be at SUNY Stony Brook June 7-9, 2012. Conference registration and housing reservations will be possible after February 20, 2012. Details and updates will be posted at http://www.workingclass.sunysb.edu  

Conference coordinator:
Michael Zweig
Director, Center for Study of Working Class Life
Department of Economics
State University of New York Stony Brook, NY 11794-4384
631.632.7536
michael.zweig@stonybrook.edu  

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Revolt

 TORONTO’S ITALIAN IMMIGRANT WORKING CLASS HISTORY

Sunday March 6, 6-9pm
Dinner 6pm, talk 6:30pm, near Dufferin/Davenport

Join a discussion of the experiences of Italian immigrants in Toronto from 1950-70, who faced racism and exploitation but fought back through strikes and protests

Speaker: Stefano Agnoletto (Kingston University, London, UK)

$10-20, a fundraiser for Toronto-West International Socialists in collaboration with the review “Zapruder. Rivista di Storia della Conflittualità Sociale”

For info: torontowest.is@gmail.com or 416-657-8345

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Uprising

TORONTO’S ITALIAN IMMIGRANT WORKING CLASS HISTORY

Work No More

WORKERS OF THE WORLD

Workers of the World: Essays toward a Global Labor History

Marcel van der Linden

· November 2010
· ISBN 978 90 04 18479 4
· Paperback (viii, 469 pp.)
· List price EUR 45.- / US$ 60.-
· Studies in Global Social History; 1

http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=210&pid=44450

The studies offered in this volume contribute to a Global Labor History freed from Eurocentrism and methodological nationalism. Using literature from diverse regions, epochs and disciplines, the book provides arguments and conceptual tools for a different interpretation of history – a labor history which integrates the history of slavery and indentured labor, and which pays serious attention to diverging yet interconnected developments in different parts of the world. The following questions are central: What is the nature of the world working class, on which Global Labor History focuses? How can we define and demarcate that class, and which factors determine its composition? Which forms of collective action did this working class develop in the course of time, and what is the logic in that development? What can we learn from adjacent disciplines? Which insights from anthropologists, sociologists and other social scientists are useful in the development of Global Labor History?

Readership: Social historians, labor historians, historians of slavery, historians of colonialism, historical sociologists

Marcel van der Linden (1952) is Research Director of the International Institute of Social History and Professor of social movement history at the University of Amsterdam. He has published extensively on labor and working-class history and on the history of ideas.

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Global Economy

THE POLITICS OF LABOUR AND DEVELOPMENT

The Global Labour University is pleased to announce a call for papers for the 2011 conference on “The Politics of Labour and Development” to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa from September 28 to 30, 2011.

The global economic crisis has had a particularly hard-hitting impact on working people, their families and communities throughout the world. What is more, they also face an environmental crisis that is closely linked to the economic crisis. Together, these crises have intensified the dispossession of the commons (including both local resources and public goods such as health and education), the informalisation of labour, unemployment, national and global social inequality, and the “slummification” of cities.  Declining biodiversity, climate change and pollution are evidence of the impact of the crisis on the planet itself. Environmental degradation threatens viable livelihoods and endangers public health. Meanwhile the market imperatives get defining power over daily life, business interests tighten their stranglehold on the state logic and power is transferred to supranational institutions with limited democratic accountability, simultaneously narrowing electoral choices, and increasingly restrictions on protest.

Labour, as a key social force of the excluded majority, has a crucial role to play in countering the destructive logics of capitalism.  The politics of labour is about altering the balance of power away from capital and unelected bureaucracies toward labour and broader society.  The politics of labour is also about overcoming the multiple relations of power and oppression, including the economic, political, gender, ethnic and cultural, that contributes to and reproduce the power of the few and the subordination of the many. This has the
following dimensions:

1)      The workplace imperative: Labour’s attempts to reverse the declining wage share and extract as much of the social surplus created through mobilisation for higher wages and better working conditions, as can be seen in the recent strike wave in South Africa and other parts of the world. This is especially important as rising inequality has devastating effects on society, as more and more people are pushed to margins of production and consumption patterns.  For example, this includes issues of the distribution of productivity growth, minimum wages and basic income grants as well as policy issues of taxation and redistribution.

2)      New forms of power or leverage: With rising unemployment and increasing numbers of workers pushed into precarious forms of work, traditional sources of power are eroded, but new forms of power are being explored, often by the most marginalized and sectors traditionally ignored by labour movements.  Labour’s links to other social forces is crucial here.  This also raises questions about who constitutes the working class, with wider understandings of labour increasingly finding salience in innovative movements around the world.  The development of transnational linkages and networks is also an important dimension to the development of new forms of power and leverage.

3)      The policy imperative: Labour’s attempts, often in alliance with other groups in civil society, to pressure governments to  increase the social wage (public health, education, transport, housing, etc.), increase employment and change economic (and slowly environmental) policy accordingly.  For example, what would a “green new deal” look like? We also encourage papers that look at the conversion of industrial production into alternative forms of production and consumption as well as papers looking at ecological issues.

What are the most effective ways to develop pro-working class policy? Corporatism seems to have spread, rather than declined, in the neo-liberal era: what is its balance sheet?

4)      Political parties, alliances and trade union organizations, and political power: Labour’s attempts to directly alter the balance of state power, either

a.      through alliances with ruling political parties,

b.      through the reorganization of trade union organizations and strategies,

c.      through the development of alternative organizations and alliances with other movements in civil society, or

d.      through building movements that refuse to participate in the state, but are willing to pressure it for reforms.

This raises questions about the role of labour—as a reforming force, as a legitimating function that hinders more radical challenges to state power, or as a central actor in building an alternative to the destructive logic of capitalist development.  The nature of political alliances and forms of mobilizing are vital issues that are being experimented on in various regions of the world (e.g., many movements in Latin America, South Korean marginalized workers, etc.). It also raises questions about international approaches to global governance.

5)      The economic imperative. Within the neoliberal framework, competitiveness becomes more aggressive and self-destructing through currency manipulation, quantitative easing, wage dumping, trade barriers, devaluation etc. Is there space for economic policy nationally and internationally that avoids the disadvantages of a competitive race to the bottom or a retreat in isolated economic nationalism?

6)      Alternative forms of production, consumption and redistribution: This raises questions about what are alternative forms of production and consumption.  For example, worker cooperatives, microcredit / microfinance projects (including its problems for informal sector workers), local agricultural production, and solidarity economy alternatives have emerged around the world.

We welcome submissions for papers on any of these themes.  While we  encourage submission of papers that broadly fit into the themes, we will also consider papers that do not fit directly into one of the themes as long as they address the broad focus of the conference. The GLU encourages policy orientated research and therefore welcomes submissions that not only analyses the problem, but also offer some policy initiatives and solutions for debate.

Please send a one page abstract (which includes your methodological approach) by January 30, 2011 to Pulane Ditlhake at Glu.SouthAfrica@wits.ac.za  and Michelle Williams at michelle.williams@wits.ac.za

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